Wednesday, March 21, 2012

To Cry or Not to Cry

Some of you will not be happy with me when I tell you what I'm about to tell you.

Some of you will say, "I know that's right girl!  You let your baby cry."

Ok.... Tucker, the tender one, had trouble sleeping through the night until he was about 18 months.  At around 7 months I decided (with help from friends and family members) that the best thing for him (me) was to let him "cry it out".  So, at night, I would kiss him and lay him in his bed.  Then, I would go in my room and turn on the ceiling fan, a floor fan, and the tv and try to block out the sounds of his cries.

My husband, the peaceful one, would say things like, "Do you think we should go get him?"  I would roll my eyes at him and laugh, "Ha ha.  Oh, silly husband.  Don't fall for the baby's tricks."  He hadn't received the wise counsel I had.

The idea was, the baby would wear himself out so much crying that he would sleep through the night.  But, it didn't work.  He would wake up at night and I would lay there, "disciplining him", and listen to him scream.

So, eventually he did sleep through the night and then he started teething and having ear infections and all of my efforts were in vain.  We (me) were up at night again.  By the time he was one, I wasn't exhausted anymore and my heart had grown tender to his cries.  So, if he woke up at night I would go get him and put him my bed; warm and cozy with his mommy and daddy.  And you know what.  Eventually he stopped waking up and slept in his bed all night long.

He sleeps a good 8-10 hours now, has for a long time. I used to sleep too.

Enter, Dalton, the little one with faithful feet.  Dalton was pretty good sleeper right off the bat.  At about 9 weeks he was sleeping 6 hours.  Soon after that (not sure how soon) he was sleeping 8 hours or more.  Then he started teething and had a double ear infection and now, every night sense the teething started at 5 months, he wakes up at 1:00am, takes a bottle and goes back to sleep.

As part of making nothing off limits to my Loving Father, I try (TRY) to go to Him for everything (TRY).  I want to seek Him first even when it comes to letting my baby "cry it out".  One night I asked him, "What do you say about letting babies "cry it out"?

I know what some Doctors say, I know what some psychologists say.  I know what half of my friends say about the other half of my friends that don't say what they say...what?  Anyway.  But, I wanted to know what the Most Loving of Fathers says about crying it out.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassionand the God of all comfort," 2 Corinthians 1:3
So, one morning, I was sitting on the couch, exhausted from the night before and I prayed...again, "God, what do you say about letting babies "cry it out?"  I was hoping He would say, "Girl!  You are tired.  You don't have to take that from a baby.  Let him cry. You get some sleep."  But instead He immediately showed me how sad I was that Tucker is getting so big so fast and that he doesn't want to snuggle very often.  He reminded me that Dalton is getting big really fast too and there will come a day that I'll long to snuggle with him.

Then, my Faithful Father started revealing scripture to me about His mercy, compassion and loving kindness.  He said, "I don't leave you alone in the darkness and let you cry it out."

Psalm 139 says, "If I say, Surely the darkness will hide me, the light become night around me.  Even there 
the darkness will not be dark to you.  The night will shine as the day.  For darkness is as light to you."

"judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.Mercy triumphs over judgment."  James 2:13 

Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' Matthew 19:33

Love is patient, love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4

"proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night" Psalm 92:2

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..." Gal 5:22

"Do not withhold your mercy from me, lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me." Psalm 40:11

So, if you're awake at 1:00am, send me a text or Facebook message.  

In the mean time, I'll be praying for the grace of Jesus to cover me and give me energy and show me when to slow down make up for the rest I've lost.  

I asked Jesus, "How do you want me to pray for Dalton?"  He said, "comfort".  So I pray that word over him when I put him to bed at night, "Comfort, comforted, comfortable, In Jesus Name." 

Disclaimer:  Please don't feel condemned.  Seek the Father, He's got nothing but love for you. Also, mine and Dalton's "together time" does not look like a perfect picture of mother/son bonding, with his pudgy hand patting my cheek and me looking down at him with tear filled eyes.  I usually wake up and walk down the hall still shaking from sleep, running into the walls as I make my way down the hall.  Then, I make a bottle, go get him out of his bed and beg him to, "Please hush.  Please hush." Until we get to the couch where I plug him up with a bottle.  There's lots of sighing involved.  

Understand this more than anything.  If we're all having a bad day and I've reached the end of my rope, I know it is safer for him and me if I let him cry for a few minutes in his bed while I take a breather.  Be safe out there folks. 

I feel like someone reading this needs comfort today.  I pray the words, Comfort, comforted, comfortable, over you. In Jesus Name!

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